Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Home / Business / Constellation Brands CEO drew $6.8M

Constellation Brands CEO drew $6.8M

ROCHESTER — Constellation Brands Inc.’s CEO and president drew compensation valued at $6.77 million in fiscal 2010 as the world’s biggest winemaker adjusted to sluggish sales of alcoholic drinks in a choppy economy, according to an Associated Press analysis of a regulatory filing Friday.

Robert Sands’s pay package for the fiscal year ended Feb. 28 was up 6.5 percent from $6.36 million in fiscal 2009.

Sands, 52, got the bulk of his pay hike as a performance-based cash bonus worth $1.27 million. He also drew stock and option awards valued at $4.2 million when they were granted, up 2.2 percent from a year earlier.

His base salary rose 2 percent to $1.1 million from $1.08 million. His pay package also included other compensation of $200,684, including $126,187 for personal use of the company’s plane and $61,794 in 401(k) and retirement contributions.

Sands replaced his elder brother, Richard, at the helm in July 2007 after five years as president and chief operating officer.

Chairman Richard Sands, 59, who was CEO for 14 years, received compensation valued at $7.1 million in fiscal 2010, up 3 percent from $6.9 million. That includes stock and options valued at $4.3 million when they were granted.

The Associated Press formula is designed to isolate the value the company’s board placed on the executive’s total compensation package during the last fiscal year. It includes salary, bonus, performance-related bonuses, perks, above-market returns on deferred compensation and the estimated value of stock options and awards granted during the year.

The calculations don’t include changes in the present value of pension benefits, and they sometimes differ from the totals companies list in the summary compensation table of proxy statements filed with the SEC, which reflect the size of the accounting charge taken for the executive’s compensation in the previous fiscal year.

Based in Victor, Constellation Brands markets Corona beer and Svedka vodka and is the biggest winemaker by volume, with brands such as Robert Mondavi and Clos Du Bois. It was founded as a bulk wine seller in 1945 by Marvin Sands, who eventually turned the business over to his sons.

Its annual net sales were hardly changed in fiscal 2010 at $3.36 billion but its net income was $99.3 million versus a loss of $613.3 million the previous year. It offered a lackluster outlook this fiscal year as U.S. sales of wine and imported beers remained sluggish in bars and restaurants through the holiday season.

The company has shifted its focus in recent years to more expensive wines and spirits that have higher profit margins. It sold off unprofitable brands, consolidated divisions and cut its work force to 6,000 people from 8,200 in 2008.